English 166

Special Topics: Black Science Fiction

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
3 Fall 2014 Serpell, C. Namwali
TTh 2-3:30 12 Haviland

Book List

Butler, Octavia E.: Lilith's Brood; Delany, Samuel R.: Babel-17; Díaz, Junot: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao; Okarafor, Nnedi: Lagoon; Schuyler, George: Black No More; Whitehead, Colson: The Intuitionist;

Recommended: Butler, Octavia E.: Bloodchild, and Other Stories; Delany, Samuel R.: Aye, and Gomorrah; Poe, Edgar Allen: The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym

Other Readings and Media

Movies:  Franklin J. Schaffner, Planet of the Apes; John Sayles, The Brother From Another Planet; Neill Blomkamp, District 9


This course considers two specific genres—black fiction and science fiction—to explore how they inflect each other when they blend. Under the umbrella “black,” we include fictions that issue out of and/or purport to describe the African, the Caribbean, and the African-American experience. The category of “science fiction” will comprise stories, novels, films, and television shows that speculate about wild, hybrid, alternative, cosmic, neo-ecological, dystopian, and ancient technologies of human experience. Overlapping—and mutually transforming—concepts include: genetics, race, diaspora, miscegenation, double consciousness, time, memory, history, futurity, and, of course, the alien.

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